|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The transformation of agriculture production into environment-friendly and sustainable system is fully aligned with the Government of Viet Nam (the Government) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) strategic and operational priorities on CC mitigation and adaptation. The Government has been continuously seeking green growth strategies to reduce its CC vulnerability. In recent years, many policies and regulations have been enacted, creating a conducive policy and legal framework. Consistent with these strategic priorities, ADB's environment, natural resources and agriculture sector investments in Viet Nam focus on rural infrastructure and water resources management for enhancing environmental sustainability and climate resilience.
Climate change is a development issue, rather than a solely environmental one; and its interrelationship with food security, bioenergy and poverty is complex. Inflation in Viet Nam reached 18% in 2011, the highest in the region, led by big rises in the cost of food, causing financial hardship for many people. While agriculture's share (20%) of the gross domestic product is declining, its output, however, is expanding. The sector remains a key contributor to exports (25%) and employment (70% of rural households, HHs). Agriculture is the largest contributor (43%) of the national GHG emission. GHG emissions from the burning of biomass in open fields are also significant . Over 40% of arable land is degraded because of heavy use of inorganic fertilizers and other unsustainable agricultural practices. Deforestation has been continuously increasing since about 56% of Vietnamese HHs still rely on the unsustainable harvest of firewood for their energy needs. The use of firewood for cooking creates indoor pollution, causing serious respiratory diseases, especially among rural women and children.
The Government is promoting the use of abundant biomass sources, such as livestock manure and other agri-wastes, to produce biogas as a clean energy source for rural HHs. The reduce, reuse, and recycle of agricultural wastes will decrease GHG emission and the release of harmful wastes into the environment. The biogas plants (BPs) have the following benefits: (i) reduced: human and livestock disease outbreaks; methane emissions; fuel/fire wood consumption; water, air (in and out door) and land pollutants; and (ii) increased: savings in time and money, quantity of organic fertilizers; and potential access to carbon credit revenue (CR) schemes. From an ADB supported project , BPs have been found to have financial internal rates of return of 54% and economic rates of return of 55% with increases in HH incomes averaging 86%.
The Government has targeted the country to construct four million of small scale biogas plants (SBPs) by 2020 (from about 0.5 million in 2010 ) to cover the need of about 8.5 million small livestock farms. Significant acceleration is also required for medium and large scale biogas plants (MBPs and LBPs), since only less than 100 MBPs and LBPs were constructed (out of existing 21,000 medium and large livestock farms). Further improvement is required for biogas development, such as bio-slurry, livestock farm and other value chain management. Beyond the infrastructure support, additional investment on the regulatory, knowledge, technology development, diffusion and extension to continuously enhance climate smart agriculture practices and transfer, is also required.